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bran

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Almond Butter Bran Muffins with Blackberries

July 15, 2013

BlackberryAlmondBrandMuffins_1

One of my favorite subjects to talk about on Espresso and Cream is breakfast. Probably because breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. No other meal really compares in my opinion, and although I typically eat the same breakfast (oatmeal, peanut butter, banana) I love mixing it up now and again. Since it’s been incredibly hot and looks like this week is going to be even warmer, I’ve been trading in my bowl of oats for colder breakfasts like yogurt with chia seeds and smoothies.

Last fall I shared with you one of my favorite muffin recipes, these Breakfast Bran Muffins. Today, I’m following up those muffins with another bran muffin recipe that’s equally delicious. It’s made with bran cereal, almond butter and stuffed with fresh blackberries. Blackberries were on sale at my grocery store this week, but you could easily substitute another berry like blueberries or raspberries if that suits your style better.

I’ve been crumbling these muffins atop a bowl of yogurt-chia pudding and it makes an incredibly tasty and filling breakfast. Each muffin contains around 200 calories, so it’s enough to satisfy without being overly indulgent. When I make a batch, I find that it works well to freeze half the muffins in zip top backs and keep them on hand for quick breakfasts or snacks. All you need to do is zap them in the microwave for a few seconds when you’re ready to eat!

Muffins2

Almond Butter Bran Muffins with Blackberries
Adapted from this recipe
Makes 12 muffins
Ingredients
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/3 cups almond milk or milk of your choice
1 cup bran cereal
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup almond butter
1 cup fresh blackberries

Directions
Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups. Set aside.

In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon until well combined. In second smaller bowl, combine milk, cereal, egg and almond butter. Stir until smooth. If your almond butter is thicker, you may need to beat with an electric mixer to get it fully combined.

Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in blackberries until just combined. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until muffins are puffed up and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Happy Baking!
Madison

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Breakfast Bran Muffins

September 3, 2012

I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend! I can’t believe that summer has come and gone already. Where in the world did the time go? I feel, like everyone else, that I was just looking forward to summer and kicking things off with Memorial Day weekend, and now we’re getting all things fall underway. Is the rumor about Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks true, too? If so, I’m going to need the weather to cool down so I can get one in my hand asap.

Joe and I initially planned on heading to Chicago to visit his family for the weekend, but we promised ourselves that this fall we would not book ourselves silly every weekend. So in the name of relaxation and schedule management, we decided to opt for a little low-key time at home instead. Of course, we couldn’t sit still for long, so we did manage to play multiple games of tennis, run errands in Des Moines, squeeze in a couple great workouts and watch way too many hours of football on Saturday afternoon.

Also on my list was doing a little baking. It’s been a while since I really spent time in the kitchen baking for fun, and having a whole afternoon to play around in the kitchen felt like the ultimate luxury. A friend of mine and E&C reader, Rachel, passed along a couple recipes to me that she thought I would enjoy, and I’m seriously SO happy to have now discovered this amazing muffin recipe. Growing up, the bakery in our town delivered the best bran muffins to the local grocery store. For a while, I got addicted to eating a giant, gooey bran muffin for breakfast. Looking back, I’m sure the “oooey, gooey” part of those muffins made them rather unhealthy, but ever since then, I’ve had a thing for bran muffins.

It’s been years since I’ve had a bran muffin, and I can’t remember the last time I baked one at home, so when I got my hands on this recipe, I knew I had to fit it into the weekend baking lineup. I made a few tweaks to the original recipe and created two slightly different versions. The first version, Breakfast Bran Muffins with Carrots, uses half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose and vegetable oil and contains 2/3 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of grated carrots. The second version, Breakfast Bran Muffins with Banana, is slightly healthier and lower in calories. It uses 100% whole wheat flour, mashed banana, coconut oil, 1/3 cup brown sugar and a little bit of Stevia for added sweetness. The texture in both recipes is fantastic, and I couldn’t tell much of a difference between the muffin that uses all-purpose flour and the one that contains 100% whole wheat.

And my husband, the ultimate taste tester when it comes to the “Average Joe” set of taste buds? He loved them! In fact, he ate two the minute they came out of the oven and said he could easily eat more for breakfast or a snack as he works during the day. I made a few batches of each recipe and plan to store them in the freezer for breakfasts or snacks throughout the weeks to come.

Version #1: Breakfast Bran Muffins with Carrots
Adapted slightly from AllRecipes.com
Ingredients
*1 1/2 cups wheat bran
*1 1/4 cups buttermilk
*1/3 cup vegetable oil
*1 large egg
*2/3 cup brown sugar
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/2 cup finely grated carrots
*1/2 cup whole wheat flour
*1/2 cup all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions
*Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper liners. Set aside.
*In a large bowl, combine the wheat bran and buttermilk. Let stand for a couple minutes. Add in the oil, egg, brown sugar, vanilla and carrots and stir until just combined. Stir in remaining ingredients until combined. Spoon batter into the greased muffin cups. This should make 12 muffins and cups should be filled about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Nutritional Information (per 1 muffin): 168 cal., 7 g fat, 16 mg chol., 41 mg sodium, 30 g carb., 4 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Version #2: Banana Bran Muffins
Ingredients
*1 1/2 cups wheat bran
*1 1/4 cups buttermilk
*1/3 cup coconut oil
*1 large egg
*1/3 cup brown sugar
*2 packets Stevia
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 large ripe banana, mashed
*1 cup whole wheat flour
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions
*Same as above.

Nutritional Information (per 1 muffin): 151 cal., 7 g fat, 16 mg chol., 36 mg sodium, 236 mg potassium, 23 g carb., 5 g fiber, 4 g protein

Happy Baking!
Madison

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